Tag Archives: America’s Got Talent

Good News Friday: A town that used a neo-Nazi rally to raise money for a good cause. My girl Darci on “America’s Got Talent” continues to amaze. And the 9-year-old who asked NASA if he could fight aliens

Happy Friday to you all out in the Internets, hope you are having a kick-ass day. I turned 42 yesterday and despite thinking for a few minutes that I’m now two entire “people who can drink” old, it was a great day. The wife and I spent two days in Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Connecticut, where you really never need to go outside, there are way too many restaurant choices, and there’s one solitary room where you can gamble in a non-smoking environment.

We ate, we slept, we doubled down on 11 in blackjack, and had a fabulous time. On with the show…

First today, there have been so much negativity in the news this week, involving neo-Nazis and white supremicists, that you would think it’d be pretty hard to find a good news story involving these hate groups.

But there’s a great one from a Bavarian town named Wunsiedel. From Heeb Magazine (that’s really what it’s called, but don’t worry, it’s run by Jews) in 2014:

In preparation for an upcoming neo-Nazi march in the small Bavarian town of Wunsiedel, local residents decided to fight back in a hilariously perfect way: by sponsoring each of the 250 fascist participants. Without the marchers’ knowledge, local residents and businesses sponsored the marchers in what was dubbed Germany’s “most involuntary walkathon”.

For every metre they walked, €10 went to a programme called EXIT Deutschland, which helps people escape extremist groups.

The anti-semitic walkers didn’t figure out the town’s scheme until they had already started their march, and by that time, it was too late to turn back. The neo-Nazis raised €12,000 for a cause they certainly did not believe in.

I love it! The video above is from the march, as the skinheads slowly tried to figure out what the hell was going on.

**Next up, it’s rare that I put the same person in “Good News Friday” twice in the span of a few weeks, but Darci Lynne, a 12-year-old girl from Oklahoma City, was so amazing again Tuesday night on “America’s Got Talent” that I feel compelled to include her again. This time the cute-as-a-button Darci brought out a different puppet to be part of her ventriloquist act, and together they belted out a classic Jackson 5 song.

This is so, so inspiring.

**And finally, if this doesn’t give you hope for the future, then man, nothing will! A 9-year-old boy submitted an application to NASA, trying to get a job as a “Planetary Protection Officer.”

Dear NASA,” Jack’s letter begins, my name is Jack Davis and I would like to apply for the Plenetary Protection Officer job. I may be 9 but I think I am fit for the job.  One of the reasons is my sister says I’m an alien and also I have seen almost all the space and alien movies I can see.”

Jack concludes with “I am young, so I can learn to think like an alien.” He signed it “Jack Davis, Guardian of the Galaxy, fourth grade.”

NASA, appropriately flattered, hired him immediately. No, they sent him a really nice letter back, which you can read here.

Love this kid.

 

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North Korea’s a huge concern, but throwing people off the voting rolls? That’s just evil. Another incredible young lady on “America’s Got Talent.” And Australian dolphins are suddenly gay? Sure!

Tuesday was another day in Trump’s America, which meant insanely stupid bluster and threats on Twitter, another country with a madman as leader (North Korea) threatening to attack the U.S. (and maybe actually being capable of it), and many people on Twitter wondering if the world would end soon.

So, you know, a typical Tuesday.

Of course we are all correct to worry that one of these two hothead heads of state will start a war. But I’m not all that worried; for all his bluster and macho BS talk, it’s not like Trump can just start a nuclear war on his own. There are lots and lots of layers of protection and checks before the U.S. launches nuclear weapons.

What I am worried about, and this is what I’ve worried about all along, is the stuff he and his government departments are doing that doesn’t get all the publicity. The stuff that he doesn’t Tweet about, that’s often where the most insidious, and awful stuff is.

For example, how about this: The Justice Dept., led by Trump frenemy (does he like Sessions today or not? I can’t tell) Jeff Sessions, has recently strongly backed the state of Ohio in a court case that would throw eligible voters off the rolls just because they hadn’t voted in the last few elections.

Let me say that again: The state of Ohio, and the U.S. Justice Dept., thinks it should be perfectly legal to eliminate and invalidate valid voters’ registration because they missed voting in a few elections.

I’m sorry. BUT ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME????

The genesis of this issue stems from Ohio passing a law that allowed the state to drop voters from the rolls if they hadn’t voted in the past three elections. The courts struck down this law, saying it violated the National Voter Registration Act, and the case is now before the Supreme Court. The Justice Dept. filed a brief supporting the state’s position.

And oh yeah, Ohio is a hugely important state in Presidential elections, and according to this story Ohio has purged 2 million voters from 2011 to 2016more than any other state, including 1.2 million for infrequent voting. (Let me stop right there. More than ONE MILLION voters have illegally been removed from the rolls because they didn’t vote enough. Not because they moved, or were felons, or anything like that.)

At least 144,000 voters in Ohio’s three largest counties, home to Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati, were purged since the 2012 election, with voters in Democratic-leaning neighborhoods twice as likely to be removed as those in Republican-leaning ones, according to a Reuters analysis.

Absolutely despicable. Disgusting. But not surprising. For many years the data has shown that when fewer people vote in elections, Republican candidates win. So voter suppression, extreme gerrymandering and laws like this help keep voter turnout as low as possible.

The Supreme Court now has this case. That’s the court Merrick Garland should be on, but Neil Gorsuch is instead.

Worry about North Korea, sure. But the trampling of American’s voting rights should concern you equally.

**And now, a much-needed palatte cleanser. Once again I am blown away by a young person I’d never heard of, after their performance on “America’s Got Talent.”

Darci Lynne is a 12-year-old girl from Oklahoma. Shy and having trouble making friends, Darci’s mother got her a doll for her birthday two years ago. Darci decided to learn to become a ventriloquist, and this amazing performance is the result. (Thanks to loyal reader Sanford for sending me this clip.)

My jaw was on the floor the whole time. What a talented, sweet kid. (The performance starts at the 2:15.)

**And finally, this story, heard by me on NPR’s always-hilarious “Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me” was just too good and weird to pass up.

From the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper:  Scientists in Western Australia have observed large groups of dolphins engaging in what they described as ‘homosexual behaviour’ after the mating season finishes.

The team at the Mandurah Dolphin Research Project noticed that after mating season was over, the male Bottlenose dolphins were ‘mounting’ and ‘having genital contact’ with each other.

‘These dolphins, all but three of them juveniles, organised themselves in four subgroups in which they were observed engaging in socio-sexual behavior that included mounting and genital contact between individuals,’ Murdoch University’s Krista Nicholson told the Mandurah Mail.

All righty then! So many jokes I want to make here, but I think you’d probably like to make your own.

Oh, and if you think this whole story is here in the blog just so I’d have an excuse to run a clip of my favorite “Glee” line ever, well,  you wouldn’t be wrong. Take us out, Brittany!